Thiruvananthapuram: Rampant violation of traffic and Motor Vehicle rules by tipper lorries in the district has once again come into focus with Wednesday’s accident involving a tipper lorry and two mini-vans near Thonakkal, on National Highway 47.
Three persons, including a 14-year-old girl, who were travelling in a mini-vans were killed and over two dozen persons injured when a tipper lorry rammed the mini-van while taking a sudden right turn reportedly without giving indicator or signal to enter a petrol pump.
In the process, another mini-van that was coming behind the tipper lorry and proceeding to Attingal also collided with the tipper lorry. The casualty would have been on the higher side if the tipper lorry had been transporting building materials. According to the Mangalapuram police, the driver, who fled the scene, after the accident, is at large.
The speeding and overloading of tipper lorries in the rural areas is a matter of concern for road users. The AIYF activists led by its district president, P. K. Raju, blocked the tipper lorries near Mangalapuram on Thursday demanding immediate arrest of those responsible for the accident.
Over half-a-dozen deaths involving tipper lorries have been reported in the district since January last. Eight persons were killed and more than a dozen injured in over 24 such accidents since November last.
It is estimated that over 400 tipper lorries operate in the city and an equal number in the suburbs.
Often, the crackdown on tipper lorries by the law enforcing agencies becomes a mere ritual. The tipper lorries seized by the police are released after imposing a penalty of Rs.1,000. The move to introduce speed governors and mobile speed radars still remains on paper.
The drivers of the tipper lorries carry more load than the sanctioned 16 tonnes and violate the rules to operate more trips and make more money.
Another reason cited for accidents is that the drivers of the tipper lorries cannot see the vehicles coming from the rear.
Meanwhile, the ban on the movement of tipper lorries between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in the city limits is turning to be ineffective. The District Collector enforced the ban, under Criminal Procedure Code 144 and 133, on February 10 in the wake of mounting accidents.
Tipper lorries are now found violating the ban openly. In Peroorkada, Kowdiar and Pattom, these lorries can be seen moving during daytime.
The `go-slow approach’ of the law enforcing agencies in view of the elections and failure to carry out surprise checks are cited to be the main reason for the violation of the ban.